By Seth Maloney | 2 comments
Can young Republicans get the point across?
Obama beat Romney by 5 million votes. He also picked up 5 million more votes from people under 30 than Romney. So what's the problem? Why is the GOP so bad at getting young people to vote for them? Could it possibly be that they fight tooth and nail against the issues that younger constituents value
The College Republican National Committee released a 90-page report that outlines a few of the issues young people have with the elephant in the room.
1. "Party of closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned."
The report surveyed young voters and found that when asked about the Republican brand, there were some brutal responses. This almost comes off as the party of stupid, lazy, incompetent, and irresponsible, which is actually what Republicans in the survey said they NEVER wanted people to think of them as. Oops.
2. "The defense budget is the place where cuts should start."
This seems like a common-sense way to cut the budget deficit, but that's hardly happening. The House Armed Services panel just voted to give the Pentagon $5 billion more than they requested, and to top it off they even voted to make it more difficult to prosecute sexual assault in the military, which works as a segway into...
3. The issue of protecting life has been conflated with rape, funding for Planned Parenthood, and contraception
The extremes that the GOP are going to on the pro-life debate are setting up more barriers for young people. When the discussion turns to abortion, Republicans have a reputation of not caring about any issues that women have to confront, from rape, to an abortion being medically necessary. The simple fact that legislation passed around the country demanding transvaginal ultrasounds, which may be one of the biggest physical violations in their war on women, shows how disconnected they are to women's health and progress on these issues.
4. Own up to Bush's failed policies
Young people responding the the College Republicans poll commonly considered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to be net draws from the US economy, and huge reasons why the country fell into The Great Recession.
5. Lower corporate taxes isn't the same as job creation
Only 1/3rd of respondents thought that they would benefit from the theory that lower corporate taxes would create jobs for young people, and that they would be better off as a result. It's hard to wonder how that perception exists when the salaries of corporate executives are at record highs, which is a major factor in driving up inequality.
6. Increase taxes on the rich
The majority of young people believe taxes need to increase on the wealthy, while 1/3rd want them to rise on everyone. These are hard numbers to ignore, and the reality of rapidly rising inequality is only going to encourage more of this sentiment.
7. Two words: Marriage equality
It's simple. Young people see less and less reason why marriage equality shouldn't be allowed. The report indicates that it may not be the biggest issue, but it represents a massive social disconnect, and a powerful reason why the GOP is strongly disliked.
8. Two more words: Climate change
From the report:
A March 2013 Gallup survey of American adults showed more 18- to 29-year-olds saying environmental protection should take priority (49%) than those saying economic growth should take priority (45%), a striking finding and one that sets young people apart from the older cohorts, all of whom privileged economic growth over the environment.
9. A clear majority want positive immigration reform
The fact that the US faces illegal immigration on the scale that it does indicates that we are, ultimately, a destination for immigrants. The US is a destination for immigrants, and the combative tone against those who come here illegally is something that many young people want to see change.
10. The student loan crisis.
The report cites President Obama's past, and having to live under the burden of student loans. Many Republicans simply say, "Don't take out loans if you can't afford them," which creates a disconnect that gives rise to the "Old Economy Steve" meme. Our society views student loans as being absolutely necessary, but we cannot deny that they are having terrible effects on the economy, which is why we support Elizabeth Warren's plan to lower interest rates to 0.75% (become a citizen co-sponsor!).
The Republicans already tried to re-brand themselves since the election, and it failed.
Do you think the issues highlighted in this report will convince the GOP that they need to change their stance?
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